Tuesday, August 28, 2007

(16) Cottonwood Arizona

Cottonwood AZ
Kingman AZ
Truck Repairs, Yuck!

Stuck. What a yucky way to spend a Memorial Day weekend. Here I decided to take the weekend off and wouldn’t you know it, my truck is giving me fits. It may be the air sensor, which has been buggy ever since I got the truck, but hasn’t caused any problems except to trigger the idiot light every once and a while when I’m towing the camper. Unfortunately, now the engine is cutting off completely when the truck warms up. And of course being out west and summer already, the truck doesn’t take long to heat up. I’ll bring it in on Tuesday.

I‘ve met a couple families at the park and I did meet a guy from Denmark who’s traveling in a van-camper and will put it in storage in another week or so and head back to Denmark after being over here for a couple of months.
So, I’m being pretty much stuck at the campsite… now that’s real hard to imagine, but what a pleasant place to be stuck. I’ve spent most of the day just reading and napping if it feels right. My favorite time of day is just after sunset.

Sitting out after sunset, the temperature drops to a very pleasant low 70ish and even drops to about 65. I have my gas fireplace going. I love seeing the silhouette of the mountains against the deepening cobalt blue sky. The horizon stays lit for a long time in a slightly lighter shade of blue and I wait to see the north star come out each evening before all the other stars. Seeing the black silhouette of the mountains, it’s easy to imagine faces and shapes formed by the outline of the mountain range. As the sky continues to get darker, I see the lights turn on in the valley and the mining town of Jerome on the side of the mountain begins to flicker to life. The lights almost shimmer as they light up little pockets of communities below and on the sides of the mountain. I’m listening to some country sound tracks tonight, Oh Brother Where Art Though and a mix of Patsy Cline and Little Big Town.

As the moon climbs up across the sky and the other stars flicker to life, I can’t imagine exploring life any other way. Good music, a good book. Oh, I’m continuing the series by Janet Evanovich. Each book in the series is numbered. This one is called “Two for the Dough“. Great characters and fun reading about a gal, Stephanie Plum, who becomes a bail bonds bounty hunter quiet by accident.

So even though I haven’t had a chance to do much touring. Remember the truck problems, I can still enjoy great weather and a lifestyle that beats work any day. Opps, sorry to all my friends who are still working. Well at least you got to enjoy Memorial Day.

Oh, an interesting note. I assumed the staff/volunteers would be a great help and resource for help with my truck problems. You know, where to go, maybe a ride back from the repair shop etc. But alas, There was none to be found. The first volunteer I met stated that he couldn’t help, since they as volunteers were pretty much tied to the campground. When I went up to the front office to maybe get some advice as to where to bring my truck for service, the Ranger said he couldn’t help me there, since he rides a bike and hasn’t owned a vehicle in years. The other volunteer heard of a place up the street, but didn’t know anything about it.

What I have found is that having my “air-card” for my computer, I can get on the Internet and find out just about anything I need. Having access at almost all of the campgrounds has been a real blessing. I use it to see what’s going on in the area. Like finding free concerts. The other night I did get out to Clarkville for an evening concert in the park. A great local group that sang blues and a bit of island music. Met some really nice local folks who did give me some information on repair shops and just good darn conversation. As I looked off to my right, I saw what appeared to be a meteor shower. It was like seeing a fist sized rock on fire with white streaking flames. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t fireworks. What an exciting site!
Having the “air-card” I was able to find a couple other repair shops with good directions and phone numbers. The Internet has become the best resource for finding information on an area I’m visiting.

200 miles down the road and stuck again. Ekkk! I drove into Kingman just to stay overnight after I had the truck fixed for the first time at a Chevy Dealer in Cottonwood. When I got ready to tow the camper, I got to the highway entrance and started to go up the ramp and Ekkk, the truck started to cut out again. Well these things happen and one just has to take them in stride. So after dropping the camper back at the campground, I got a great recommendation to go to Taflan’s Quality Automotive. The owner Mike Taflan is a master mechanic with a gazillion training certificates and awards. He discovered the problem, which was a bad crank sensor. This piece, which looks like a long plastic rod, replaces the distributor cap.

Mike spent most of the day working on the truck and burning his hand in two places. Can you believe he was kind enough to charge me a lot less than he should have. After the first repair of $549.00, he charged me $347.00 to complete the job the Chevy dealer should have done.
It feels good to know the truck is now fixed. I’ll be heading towards the Hoover Dam and Las Vegas in the next couple of days and visiting with Betty and Dave.

Not a thrilling report, but that’s what happens on the road sometimes.

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